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I've been in a car accident. What happens now?

Drivers who have been involved in car accidents may not know what they need to do in this situation. The shock from the collision, along with a general lack of familiarity with the state laws, may make drivers unsure of what steps they need to take.

When drivers are involved in a motor vehicle accident, it's imperative that the accident be reported to law enforcement, so the drivers may want to call the police to the scene. A police officer can inspect the vehicles, draft and file the report and investigate the accident. If an officer is not dispatched to the scene, the drivers will still need to file the report and will want to collect information such as each driver's name, address, make and model of car and driver license number.

Drivers will also need to present proof of automobile insurance. Failure to provide proof of car insurance is considered a noncriminal infraction, and the uninsured driver will have to attend a hearing wherein a civil penalty may be enforced. A driver who has caused the accident may be cited and required to pay a penalty.

The above guidelines represent only a fraction of information drivers will need to know after a car accident; an attorney may be able to provide better education. However, it goes without saying that car accidents can have serious repercussions for the victims that affect their day-to-day lives. Victims whose cars have been severely damaged lose the use of their vehicles, and will need a different mode of transportation to go to work so they do not lose time or wages at their jobs. Additionally, some victims may have suffered bodily injury and need compensation in order to heal from their injuries. People who have suffered these problems from a motor vehicle accident may want to contact a personal injury law firm to explore their avenues for relief.

Source: The 2014 Florida Statutes §316.066, accessed Oct. 22, 2014

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